According to Allen Schaeffer, American Trucking Assns. vice president for Environmental Affairs, some fleets could be recipients of some of the millions of dollars in discretionary penalty money to be used for the reduction of nitrogen oxides emissions.
The settlement calls for $109.5 million to be set aside over the next six years for what are known as supplemental environmental projects. “EPA and the Justice Department have fairly wide latitude in how the money is to be spent,” Schaeffer says. “The proposed settlement encourages fleets and others that are interested in trying to get a piece of that action to work through their engine manufacturer to apply for the money. The key is that the money has to be spent to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides from heavy duty diesel engines.”
Some manufacturers proposed projects in the settlement dealing with advanced technology catalysts and aftertreatment systems. There also has been some interest expressed in using some of the money for conversion of fleets to alternative fuels, Schaeffer says.
How to get involved is unclear, Schaeffer says. He recommends contacting your engine supplier. The ATA argued in its comments on the settlement that the Department of Justice and the EPA should also accept ideas and proposals directly from interested parties, instead of just through the engine manufacturers.